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Fall 2005







The Kryptonite Kabala
David Macpherson

1. Look! Up in the sky!! It's a bird! It's a plane!

2. Superman was born on the planet Krypton in an undisclosed year. Superman was born in Action Comics #1 in 1938. Superman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, by two Jewish teenagers in 1933. Superman is an imaginary person and was never born.

3. The planet Krypton did not explode. It burned. Burned with hatred and bigotry. Burned with brown shirts. Those who were not of the proper blood were round up. Put into camps. Jor-El, great scientist, would not see his son in camps.

4. Jerry Siegel was 15 when he first came up with Superman. A Jew in the Midwest, he dreamed of a man who could fight back. His friend, Joe Schuster, drew the character with hope for comic strip syndication.

5. The comic book says that the "S" on his chest was his family's crest. But it could have been a badge of identification. Yellow star. Pink triangle. For the camps.

6. In Egypt, a Jewish Slave, Jochebed, placed her three-month-old son, Moses, into an ark and placed it in the Nile, leaving him to the will of the current. Sometimes an ark can be made of alien metal. Sometimes the river Nile can snake down the length of the universe.

7. Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster had no luck selling Superman for five years. Finally, it came out in Action comics. It was successful with the first issue.

8. At first, Superman could not fly. He could only leap great distances. But by the early forties, could fly, becoming less attached to the world below him.

9. As a kid, I collected comic books, but not Superman. Invincibility was boring to read. His perfection was too foreign.

10. Siegel and Schuster did not own Superman. They were paid 100.00 dollars a year while their perfect child made the company tens of millions. They sued for control. Lost. Were fired. Became destitute.

11. Superman Comics #17, May 1942. The cover by Joe Schuster shows a giant Superman standing upon the glove holding in his outstretched arms Adolf Hitler and General Tojo like errant children.

12. Kryptonite is imaginary. Kryptonite is guns and armbands and mass hysteria. Kryptonite is shouts of kike and heeb. It is burning crosses and broken storefront windows. Kryptonite is the razor that shaves the head, the needle that tattoos the arm. Kryptonite is not real. It is real enough.

13. Dedicated to truth, justice and the American way.

14. Superman was taken from all his fathers. From Jor-El. From Siegel and Schuster. Given a plain American name. Taken to church on Sundays. Raised to conform.

15. Three definitions. Truth, noun, sincerity in action, character and utterance. Justice, noun, the maintenance of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims. The American Way. There is no definition.

16. American Way is freedom and speech and religion. American way is forty acres and a mule. It is internment camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. American Way is a boatload of Jewish refugees turned away from our shores, sent back to Germany, to the camps. American Way is Kryptonite.

17. As a boy, I sometimes used my last name as an alter ego. With a last name like Macpherson, no one would suspect me for a Jew.

18. Superman is Clark Kent. Or is Clark Kent Superman? It has never been established in which identity he was passing in. Maybe it was both.

19. Bleeding on the pavement, the fifth-grade boys kicking me again, calling my stupid kike, I dreamed of super powers.

20. Superman Comic books. Superman action figures. Superman roller coaster. Superman colored glue. Superman Tooth Brush. Superman telephone. Superman Under-roos. They're fun to wear.

21. Joe Schuster died in 1989. Jerry Siegel died in 1996. 15 million died in World War II. Superman lives.

22. When I see him in front of the American flag, I wonder if he feels powerless, too.

23. Superman. Visitor from a distant planet, blessed with superpowers. Faster than a bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. And he doesn't look Jewish at all.